The Combretaceae, represented by this baheda or beach almond, is another new plant family for Botany Photo of the Day. This family of about 500 species is primarily tropical in distribution, with representatives in both the Old and New Worlds.
Terminalia bellirica is known by many more common names than just those two. Flowers of India‘s article on Terminalia bellirica lists an additional three common names in English as well as names in sixteen other languages from India (the page also features some photos by Dinesh Valke, a BPotD photo contributor last week). This doesn’t even count the common names in the other parts of Asia and Australasia where it is native. A multitude of scientific names usually indicates taxonomic confusion, but a number of common names in multiple languages suggests a species of some cultural or economic importance.
The Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) lists human uses in this datasheet on Terminalia bellirica in its Invasive Species Compendium. These include: medicines, invertebrate food for silkworms, animal feed, charcoal, carving wood, resin, and timber products. More details on many of these uses can be gleaned from the Tropical Plants Database: Terminalia bellirica.